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Bellpuig puts Stoner in the mood for racing

Bellpuig puts Stoner in the mood for racing

Bellpuig puts Stoner in the mood for racing

I went to watch the qualifying for the Motocross GP at Bellpuig on Saturday and it really got me in the mood for some serious racing. I grew up riding MX and dirt track and it is something I still love to do in my spare time, so to see guys like Pichon and Everts so close up was a really awesome experience. The factory machines are like nothing I´ve ever seen, and I would love to have a go on one some day in the future. Unfortunately we couldn´t go back for the actual race on Sunday because we had to get packed and ready for an early morning flight to Italy this morning.

Anyhow, seeing the bikes out there on Saturday and savouring the atmosphere of a race weekend made me excited about getting out to Suzuka and hitting the track. After the last set of tests we did at Valencia I am feeling really confident of some good results this year. It has taken me a while to get used to the 125 again, but I feel more comfortable on it than I did on the 250. Also, it is a factory bike so from that point of view I should be more competitive than last year. One thing for sure is that it is going to be very tough. There are three World Champions in the class this season, as well as eight GP winners, and I reckon about 15 riders have a chance of winning races, so it should be a very exciting season for the fans, and a very difficult one for the riders.

In terms of machinery, it is difficult to say which bikes will have the advantage. I am delighted with my 2003 Aprilia, and I think it should have the edge at most circuits, but Pedrosa´s Honda looks really trick – like a scaled down NSR - and we don´t know how fast the KTM will be just yet. The factory machines are at a very similar standard, so as I say we are in for some close racing and a big group of riders at the front. Hopefully I will be in it!

My Dad and I travelled from our base in Barcelona to meet up with the rest of the team in Rome this morning, and we will be catching our flight to Japan this afternoon. After the race I will be travelling down to Australia to spend Easter there for the first time in years. Hopefully I will be celebrating with a good result!

125cc, 2003, Casey Stoner

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